Written by Vladimir Moss


     As the saying goes, the course of true love never runs smooth. The devil, the father of lies and hater of mankind, is always trying to frustrate it, and thereby prevent the birth of a new generation that will praise and glorify God. What is true in secular life is true also in the Church. Nothing is so fruitful, nothing is so necessary for the growth and spiritual prosperity of the Church, as the lawful marriage of a true bishop with the flock that believes in him and loves him. But the devil will do everything in his power – a power, however, that is limited by Almighty God – either to prevent the marriage, or, when the marriage has been accomplished, to break it up and separate those whom God has brought together…

     For years the flock of the Serbian True Orthodox Church has been petitioning for the ordination to the episcopate of their founder and builder, Hieroschemamonk Akakije (Stankevich). Once, some years ago, their petition was on the point of being satisfied by the Holy Synod of the True Orthodox Church of Greece under Archbishop Chrysostomos (Kiousis). But then Metropolitan Kallinikos of Achaia, who had been appointed as temporary administrator of the Serbian True Orthodox Christians, changed his mind and blocked the ordination. Kallinikos’ opposition continued for a long time. Even when the Serbian True Orthodox, frustrated by his long-standing neglect of their spiritual needs and generally negative influence on the life of their Church, announced that they were leaving his administration and petitioning the Russian True Orthodox Church under Archbishop Tikhon of Omsk instead, he would not give in, but tried to convince a Russian delegation in Athens that Fr. Akakije should not be ordained. The Russians were not convinced, and the next day, August 2/15, the feast of St. Stephen the protomartyr, the protector of the Serbian Royal House, and in the presence of two wonderworking icons of the Mother of God, the bride and bridegroom were finally brought together in lawful marriage. Great was the rejoicing of the Serbs, great the lamentation of the Greeks – and great the consequences for the whole of the True Orthodox Church of this ordination…

     This is not the first time that the True Russian Church has resurrected a Balkan Church in the modern period. The first time was in 1969, when the Russian Church Abroad under Metropolitan Philaret of New York corrected the unlawful ordinations of the True Orthodox Church of Greece under Archbishop Auxentios, and then left the Greeks to govern themselves, as befitted an Autocephalous Church. Now, in 2011, they have done the same thing for the Serbs. The official reaction of the Greeks is not yet known. But the Secretary of the Greek Synod, Bishop Photius, has said that the union talks between the Greek and Russian TOCs are now suspended… 

     Let us leave aside the “sour grapes” reaction of the Greeks for the time being, in the hope that in the future it will become more positive – and less hypocritical… Instead, let us turn to the positive consequences of this act, not only for the Serbian Church, but for the whole of Orthodoxy. For if we look carefully we can see that it may betoken a new and very important stage in the struggle against the heresy of Ecucommunism.


     To any unprejudiced Orthodox, of whatever nationality, who is prepared to put aside nationalist pride and resentment against possible historical injustices, it is obvious that the Resurrection of Orthodoxy in our time can come about from only one direction – the north, - that is, Russia. This is not only because Russia has the largest number of believers of any of the Local Churches, and the only State which could – if finally purified from the evil leaven of Sovietism – act as a real protector of Universal Orthodoxy in the political sphere. More importantly, Russia is the arena in which the greatest struggle between good and evil in the history of Christianity since Golgotha has recently come to an end – if it has truly come to an end, – with the result that, in the blood of the millions of her Holy New Martyrs and Confessor, she has contributed the seed of a new and most abundant generation of Christians.

     Of course, several other nations suffered under the Communists. Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and Georgia have all contributed new martyrs and confessors in this titanic struggle. Even the Greeks, who by God’s mercy were spared the communist yoke, went through a Civil War between communists and monarchists in the later 1940s; and Greek Orthodox have come to know Communism at first hand in what they call Northern Epirus (Southern Albania). Unfortunately, however, the Greeks, having suffered less than the other Orthodox nations from Communism, also appear to understand the nature of the struggle against it less. This isolates them from the other True Orthodox, and makes it impossible for them to become the leaders of Orthodoxy in the next age.

     For unless the lessons of history have been learned, we are doomed to repeat them. And unless the meaning of a particular period of struggle in Church history has been mastered, we shall not reap the fruits of that particular struggle and be prepared for the next one. It is said that military theorists are always reliving the last war in their thinking about the next, and are therefore always unprepared for the latter. Not so in the Church. Only that Church will survive the new struggles of the twenty-first century, with the possible coming of the Antichrist himself, which has understood the struggle of the twentieth century against Communism, the collective Antichrist.

     “But what about Ecumenism?” one will object. “Is that not ‘the heresy of heresies’ and the main struggle of the twentieth century – a struggle that has by no means come to an end?’” However, this objection fails to take into account the close inner kinship between Ecumenism and Communism, a kinship that once prompted the present writer to write an article entitled “Ecucommunism”. Ecucommunism is the modern rebellion against all authority in politics and religion, a combined political and religious assault on the King of kings and Bishop of bishops, the Lord Jesus Christ. Under the cover of freedom and equality, translated as anti-monarchism and democratism in the political sphere, and anti-discrimination and tolerance in the religious and moral spheres, all authority is overthrown: just as no man is allowed to transcend the common herd in politics or receive the anointing of true kingship, so no religion is allowed to declare itself better than any other or the recipient of the true revelation about God.

     In order to understand how Ecumenism and Communism go together, with the political rebellion always paving the way for the religious rebellion, let us look briefly at three critical dates in modern political and religious history: 1905, 1917 and 1924. In the “first Russian revolution” of 1905, the Tsar’s October Manifesto granting a parliamentary constitution was accompanied by a decree on Religious Tolerance that was bewailed by holiest men in Russia, such as St. John of Kronstadt. In 1917 the forced abdication of the Tsar led to the Provisional Government’s granting a whole series of political and religious freedoms, notably to the Jews, which the Tsar had always resisted. In 1924, after the Asia Minor catastrophe, a revolution overthrew the Greek monarchy and at the same time introduced the new, papist calendar into the official Church – the event that is considered by many to initiate the first phase of Ecumenism and which has made possible the ecumenist concelebration of the Patriarch of Constantinople with the Pope and other western heretics. These are only three examples of how the crown and the cross go together, and how the weakening or overthrow of the one leads to the mocking and trampling down of the other.

     It follows from the above analysis that the triumph of the cross can be said to have finally taken place only when the crown is also restored – in other words, when the whole political and religious order overthrown by the ecucommunist revolution is restored. Of course, this will sound like fantasy, utopia, even madness, to many sincere anti-ecumenists. However, we are not talking here about the restoration of the Tsardom in all its pre-revolutionary details, including dress and technology – that would certainly be madness. We are talking about the restoration of a Tsardom holding to the principles and spirit of the pre-revolutionary Empire. And that is not madness, but a reasonable, indeed necessary hope of all true zealots of Orthodoxy.

     But where will one find such a hope in the Orthodox world today? Only in Russia, and to a lesser degree in Serbia… In the rest of the Orthodox world, while there are many who condemn ecumenism, very few will be found who condemn democratism and hold to monarchism of the traditional, Orthodox kind. And if someone points to the presence of Orthodox monarchies in Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and Georgia, then it should be pointed out in reply that these are all constitutional monarchies cooperating closely with secular presidents and parliaments and filled with the spirit of the New World Order and its essentially democratic ethos. In other words, while the ecumenist aspect of the revolution appears to be weakening in some places, its communist (sergianist) aspect is gathering strength – if not in its crude, Bolshevik variety, at any rate in the more sophisticated and humane but hardly less totalitarian forms that we find in such states as the European Union and the United States.

     As long as democratism and its philosophy of human rights (derived in its modern form from the Italian Marxist philosopher, Antonio Gramsci) are believed in by the great majority of Orthodox Christians, then anti-ecumenism is doomed to failure. For one cannot without radical contradiction claim, on the one hand, that Orthodoxy is the one true faith without which nobody will be saved, and on the other hand, that every religion should be equal under the law, and Satanists have the same “rights” to practice their religion as the Orthodox! This contradiction is sensed in an obscure way by many, as is witnessed by the many Orthodox internet sites that condemn “demonocracy” and the New World Order. And yet very few of these sites trace the origins of the present malaise to the overthrow of the Russian Autocracy in 1917 (the Greeks see the root of all evil in America). And still fewer look for a restoration of that Autocracy as the only real basis for the final triumph of Orthodoxy over the revolution.


     The only parts of the world that constitute a partial exception to this conclusion are, as we have said, Russia and Serbia. And so we return to the joyful event of the re-establishment of the Serbian True Orthodox Church under Bishop Akakije of Resava and Shumadiya with the help of the Russian True Orthodox Church… This is the first union between two True Orthodox Churches of different nations in which both share the same attitude towards the Ecucommunist revolution and the way to overcome it. Both are not only anti-ecumenist, but also monarchist. Both venerate the Tsar-Martyr. Both try to avoid relations with the present powers that be. In this they both differ from the democratic Greeks, which difference in outlook may point to the deeper reason why the Greeks did not enter the union, although they had the opportunity to do so…

     What fruits can we expect from this union?

     First, the struggle of the Serbian True Orthodox Church against the ecumenist patriarchate of Serbia and the semi-ecumenist Bishop Artemije, which languished under the neglect and indifference of Metropolitan Kallinikos, will receive a strong boost. The Serbian TOC is distinguished particularly by its very zealous and active monastic element. We can expect both the men’s and the women’s monasteries to grow and receive new recruits from abroad, especially Russia.

     Secondly, the Russian TOC will benefit from its association with Serbia. The theme of Russian-Serbian unity has been important to both nations since Tsar Nicholas II entered World War One in order to defend Serbia and Serbia became the cradle of the Russian Church Abroad in the inter-war period. Conservative patriots in other Russian jurisdictions, including the patriarchate, are likely to be very interested, and may be drawn to the Russian TOC as a result.

     Thirdly, True Orthodox Christians in other Balkan nations will take note, and some may come to the same conclusion as the Serbs – namely, that the help of the Greeks has amounted to very little, and that if they want to see the revival of their own native Churches without their becoming stagnant provinces of a phyletistic Greek Orthodoxy, they would do best to turn to the Russians. Historical resentments, and suspicion of KGB penetration, may hinder this process for a time, especially in Romania. But if the Serbian Church grows stronger through its union with Russia, then these resentments and suspicions are likely to recede.

     The Romanian Church in particular would benefit greatly, in the present writer’s opinion, from joining the Russian-Serb union. At present the Romanian True Orthodox are quite numerous, but divided between two factions that appear irreconcilably opposed to each other, to the point that each baptizes converts from the other side. But one of the jurisdictions (“Slatioara”) is in communion with the heretical Cyprianites, which compromises them in the eyes of many, while the other (“Tekuch”) has almost accidentally entered into communion with the most extremist hierarch in the whole of Orthodoxy, “Metropolitan” Kyrikos of Mesogaia. Both need an exit strategy, and taking the geographically central, mediating place between the Russians and the Serbs as the third member of their union would seem to be the answer. Of course, it is still early days: a Romanian Church independent of both Slatioara and Tekuch hardly exists as yet, and no leader on the model of Fr. Akakije has yet emerged. However, the sight of the two Churches to the right and left of them joining together may well encourage potential leaders to take courage and come out of the shadows…

     Finally, the sight of a successful and stable union between two national Churches will give hope to many despairing True Orthodox around the world that the process of the disintegration of True Orthodoxy is not irreversible, and that around this solid core of anti-ecumenist, anti-sergianist and anti-nationalist, but traditionalist, patriotic and monarchist Orthodoxy, the scattered remnants of True Orthodoxy will gather and recover their strength. Certainly, there is nothing – nothing whatsoever – that the world needs more…. “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom!” (Luke 12.32).

Vladimir Moss.

August 4/17, 2011.

The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus.





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